Gooseberry Help


#1

Gooseberry is new to me, but want to put several in just to try them out. Maybe 10. Problem I am having is where to buy them. Almost every one of them has 6-8 inch sticks that barely have roots.
Where can I buy more advanced ones and what are the sweetest varieties? Already bought black velvet and pixwell.


#2

Poorman is one I’d recommend and I bought mine a few years ago from Indiana berry company. I got several varieties and they were nice plants, some really good sized.


#3

Other than Indiana berry, other online options include

  1. https://www.penseberryfarm.com/category-s/1873.htm
  2. https://www.noursefarms.com/category/gooseberry-plants/
  3. https://onegreenworld.com/product-category/berries/gooseberry

I don’t have personal experience with these other than OGW


#4

They grow pretty fast so you’re going to have a hard time finding sizes that are between ‘rooted cutting’ and ‘2yr old plant’.

My Poorman got constantly trampled by my dogs, had one of the main branches snap (I put it back on with electrical tape) and still managed 1.5’ of growth. Not to mention I’m probably zone pushing it with being in 7a/7b.

I did a lot of research into it and poorman is probably the sweetest variety according to reviews and literature ive read. Hinomaki Red was also up there but died on me spontaneously, which is a pretty common occurrence from what i hear


#5

Anyone know about white currents and jostaberry? Are they worth buying?


#6

I’ve bought gooseberries from Indiana Berry and Honeyberryusa in 2017. The one’s from IB were little twigs with hardly any roots. One of them, a Hinnomaki Red, didn’t last a year. The other, a Poorman, is still alive, but just about a foot or so high, and hasn’t fruited yet.

The one from HB was a Jeanne, it was a much bigger plant with very good roots. It’s about 2ft tall, and about that wide now, but hasn’t really produced anything.

My best growing gooseberry was an Oregon Champion that my wife picked up at Tractor Supply (one of those plants in a box). It’s at least 3ft tall a couple feet wide and has produced a decent crop the last two years. It even got run over, splitting a big branch, but I spliced it back together and it’s still going strong.


#7

Thanks. I have not had much luck with those little first year rooted cuttings. That seems to be what everybody has though. Scenic Hill is where I bought the two I have. They came potted and priced fairly, but had big shipping prices.
Do you know anything about white currents and jostaberry? Are they worth getting into?


#8

I don’t have either, but have been interested in maybe getting some currants, mostly the red, pink, and white varieties. I was going to order some but have decided not to, I’ve got enough things on my plate.

There are a few threads on here that discuss currants, if you want to look for them. I think @Drew51, @BobVance and @ztom, among others grow various types of currants and gooseberries.


#9

http://www.whitmanfarms.com/ sent huge, well rooted gooseberries. I would not hesitate to order from them again.

I also ordered from https://hartmannsplantcompany.com/ and they were pretty tiny in comparison.


#10

Yes Whitman Farms is a cool nursery.

White currants are probably my least favorite type. Tart, citrus like flavor that is OK not great. Better processed, so I still grow them. . All currants are tart, Pink currants can be enjoyed fresh more than the others. I process all of mine, I make syrups or jellies, or use for various pastries and other desserts. Once I made fruit leather with some gooseberries, and it was really tasty! I have a dehydrator. I have to do that again. I used black velvet and it has a grape/blueberry like flavor. OK fresh awesome as leather.
I think Jostaberries are black currant - gooseberry cross? I never grew them. I have seen mixed reviews.


#11

How did you make the fruit leather? Sounds like something I would like to try. I have a dehydrator with fruit leather trays. Did you cook it first or just grind them up in a blender and spread them in the trays? Did it need much sugar? Have you tried it with Stevia?


#12

First you make a syrup, or how you would prep to make jam. I add between an 1/2 cup to a cup of juice or water to the berries. Heat on low heat, mash with a potato masher. Let it come to a very slow boil for about 10 minutes. I then run through a very fine strainer using a pestle to remove seeds and most of the thicker pulp. You can keep pushing the stuff to get as much pulp as possible. It is better to get it thick as possible. The sieve or strainer can be purchased at most places that sell cookware.

I then add sugar, and I have used mixes of sugar and a sugar substitute. So yes you can use stevia. I found adding some sugar helps, you could use honey too. I use blue agave syrup as it has a lower glycemic index than cane sugar. A little pricey but good stuff!
I boil again for 2 minutes then add the sugar. You can just add the sugar before you strain too. I found sugar thickens things up so do it after. OK you’re ready! Buy parchment paper, cut it too line the fruit leather trays. The stuff will stick to the trays and is hard to get off the trays. You have to use the parchment paper! Plus when done, you cut it into strips with the paper and you have fruit role ups! Dry to the consistency you want, it is JUST like the store bought stuff.

So it is a liquid, but drys quickly, the thicker the better. You can skip adding water or juice, but I like to do t that was as I’m usually doing frozen berries, and it helps to keep you from scorching them. Add sugar to taste it might take a couple batches to get it right. To me it tastes sweeter than it really is when cooking! My first batch ever was rather tart!
I make my syrups with 1000 grams of raw fruit. The recipe calls for 360 grams of sugar. I use about 300 grams usually 150 gram equivalent of blue agave and 150 gram equivalent of a sugar substitute. Total 300 grams.I’m still adjusting this formula from time to time. Reducing sweetness even more.

Here is a batch I made with yellow raspberries


#13

I don’t know where you can get it in USA. I am in Can. Here, you stick a gooseberry cutting in the ground in early spring and it roots most of the time. I have Jostaberry, Black Velvet, Pixwell, Hinnomaki Yellow and Jewel. All VERY different.

Black Velvelt: very vigorous and cold hardy, very thorny, loads of small tart aromatic berries. I find them too tart for cooking! The bush can become quite tall.

Pixwell: very vigorous, productive and cold hardy, very thorny. Gives loads of small, tasteless, mushy berries. If you get them early, they may taste better. No aroma, little acid, just sweetness (but not that much) and bad texture in my opinion. The bush can become quite tall.

Hinnomaki Yellow: cold hardy, but not as vigorous as the 2 others. Bush stays small. I guess it could be very good as an understory plant. Gives lots of medium size/large size yellow and aromatic berries, with the perfect texture and balance of sweet and sour. Very good.

Jewell: small thorny bush that never gave me anything!

Jostaberry: tall bush, cold hardy, no thorn, not productive. Gives small amount of boring berries. Not as good as currants, nor gooseberries! Not worth it.

I have tasted Hinnomaki Red in the past. It was delicious. If I had to pick 2 favorites: Hinnomaki Red and Hinnomaki Yellow.

@subdood_ky_z6b suggested Oregon champion and I think it may be a very good suggestion. Lots of people seem to love it. Never tried it. I read Poorman is good too. I am currently interested in thornless varieties! Kid friendly :slight_smile:

I don’t know if you can read french, but I find this document helpful. Here are a couple of screenshots.


#14

I have the red, agree it’s good. I have to add the yellow!

Strange mine had fruit on it when i got it. It seems to always have fruit on it. Hold forever too. Big berries, kinda tart. I’m going to let them hang 6 weeks this year.

I added Jahns Prairie which has some thorns near the base only. Yet to taste the fruit. I should have a few this year.


#15

Interesting about Jewel! I wonder why mine doesn’t fruit…! I even moved it once a couple of years ago because I thought it didn’t like where it was. I’ll take cuttings and plant them on another site again. One last chance :wink:.

Do you know if Xenia is available in USA?


#16

Removed my Jostaberry. Low production and berries where not as good as gooseberries.


#17

I like my Jahns Prairie. Taste is good and very few thorns. I don’t like dealing with gooseberry thorns although I do keep the very thorny Poorman because the berries are good.


#18

Once in awhile we get a dud plant, stunted for unknown reasons. So far it’s just OK, not great. I expected more. See this year, I may change my mind on it. I have a black Ben Sarek , that I have seen awesome plants others have. Mine is a dud, stunted, will not grow much. I’m not giving up on it just yet.

I have not seen Xenia here.

Yes a winner here too.


#19

I’m anxious to find out how the berries are of a wild gooseberry i found growing under my big pines 2 yrs. ago. i dug it and potted it in a half gallon container where it really took off. should see a few berries this summer. if they’re good I’m going to plant it out in the yard. its a thorny bugger though.


#20

OC was my best grower, fruit starts green, then turns a light purple. Taste was still pretty tart, and texture somewhat crunchy, like a slightly underripe grape.

My Jeanne is thornless, and has been a decent grower, but no fruit to sample yet.